Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ weekly weekend event guide for Europe: 2 February through 5 February 2017

How many more weeks of winter will Europe see? Sure, the U.S. has Punxsutawney Phil and friends to reveal the future, today Groundhog Day 2 February.

Europeans, by comparison, know winter can run well into spring and make the most of the cold and ice – especially this weekend in Amsterdam.

On the plus side, you do have friends who can tell you what’s going on this weekend all over the continent!

Your itinerary for this week includes jazz in Copenhagen, classic cars in Paris including Ferraris and fashion in Barcelona.

Amsterdam – Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival: If you haven’t gone already, you should now! The annual Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival was set to leave Amsterdam this Sunday, but will now continue through 5 March.

The festival – the theme for 2016-17 is “Music Inspires” – made its Amsterdam debut this past December, featuring sculptures as tall as 6 meters!

Expect to see the likes of Prince, David Bowie, Mozart, and lots of crystal-clear instruments – all made with more than 550,000 kilograms of ice and snow by 42 international ice sculptors, and housed inside a 3,000 m² warehouse along Arena Boulevard. Be sure to dress warmly, though: temps are kept around 14° Fahrenheit (10° Celsius).

Tickets range from free for little ones under 3, to 28€ for a combination ticket (which includes rail service into the city).


Barcelona – 080 Barcelona Fashion: For the 19th time, 080 Barcelona Fashion returns to Teatre Nacional de Catalunya for its biannual visit, set to end Friday evening.

080’s Spring/Summer 2017 edition will feature designers and houses such as Boboli, Txell Miras, and Custo Barcelona, who are expected to present “their most extreme collection for SS17” to Europe for the first time.

Though the catwalk is open only to industry insiders, the public can visit the 080 Fashion Market to shop the likes of Alèxia Grustan, PJ Barcelona and Oscarleon.

An exhibition by Manuel Bolaño, the production of “Dorian Gray. Beauty knows no mercy” by legend Pierre Cardin, and the inauguration of H&M’s Barcelona flagship store are also on the bill.

Berlin – Transmediale: From today through 5 March, celebrate the 30th anniversary of Transmediale at Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

Under the theme of “ever elusive,” the digital culture and media art festival will shine a spotlight on “ongoing shifts in dialogue with the past,” inviting guests “to consider the value of rejecting stable identities and explore speculative positions beyond current dichotomies: human/nonhuman and nature/technology.”

Tickets for various events on the program can be had here.

Your full program guide is here.

2fbc1469cb617f00b0433e2bc2addf55cad9bf3afdd995d56fd0c40615fdc91d1cf424c2Brussels – Brussels Dance!: Dance fans, head up to the de facto capital of the European Union now to catch the start of the two-month Brussels Dance! dance festival.

From now through 31 March, the second season will feature performances – including Cold Blood, This kind of bird flies backwards, A Taste of Poison, and Louis Vanneste – Gone in a Heartbeat – at KVS, L’L, Garage 29, Halles de Schaerbeek, and eight other locales throughout Brussels.

Reduced ticket fees for the performances can be had via the free Brussels Dance Pass, though you’ll still have to book your tickets at the participating venues.

Copenhagen – Vinterjazz 2017 – When the Danes throw a jazz festival, they really throw a jazz festival. With 600 concerts at 125 venues across Copenhagen, Vinterjazz is part music festival, part marathon.

Fortunately, the Vinterjazz website lists all the offerings by day, so you can chose what works best with your schedule. Or you can download festival apps for either iOS or Android here.

Perennial favorite Herbie Hancock, with a new band, is the headliner this year.

If you can’t make it in person, the live stream is here. The festival runs through 26 February.

orchids-17-kew-site-750x240London – Orchids Festival: The annual Orchids Festival returns to Kew Gardens beginning Saturday, with this year’s theme celebrating the marvelous botanical wonders of India.

Vanda orchids will hang from the sky, elephants and peacocks of exotic plants will dazzle the eyes, and Indian foods will fill the belly.

Tickets start at £2.50/child, £14/adult. The exhibit runs until 5 March.

1962Ferrari250GTOParis – Salon Rétromobile: This one starts this coming Wednesday, but if you’re into classic cars, you’ll need to know about Salon Rétromobile.

Running through 12 February at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Rétromobile will have 500 cars and 550 exhibitors on 60,000 square feet of exhibition space, and lots of events on the program.

This year’s edition will pay homage to Ferrari, who is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2017, with a showcase of the Italian automaker’s greatest machines. Other highlights include: Formula One’s lesser-known cars; an exhibition featuring nothing but French motorcycles; classic car auctions; and the last two surviving French tanks from World War I.

Admission is free for those under 12, 18€ for those above; tickets here.


Stockholm – Finally It All Makes Sense: In the early 1990s, U.S. denim giant Levi’s held 75 percent of the European jean market.

Italian brand Diesel wanted to challenge the status quo, linking up with advertising guru Joakim Jonasson and the world’s top photographers to create adverts whose messages made no sense on the surface, but did so on a subconscious level.

Decades later, Fotografiska’s latest exhibition, Finally It All Makes Sense, pulls together the nonsensical ad campaigns championed by Diesel and Jonasson from 1991 to 2001.

The works LaChapelle, von Unwerth and Winther are on display, of course, but there are also contributions from Swedish photographers and film directors, such as Peter Gherke, Ulf Johansson and Jörgen Lööf.

The exhibition is set to close next Sunday, 12 February.

Tickets range from free for little ones under 12, to 130 SEK for a regular ticket.

clubkreativ_480Vienna – Kreativball: We’re at the peak of Vienna’s ball season, though this weekend is quieter than the previous with only a couple of balls. Kreativball in the ballroom of the Hans-Mandl vocational school is our selection this week because A). it’s two nights of dancing the night away, and B). it’s a ball for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Put on by Club Kreativ, the ball occurs each evening this Friday and Saturday from 19:30 to 3:30, doors opening at 18:30.

Tickets are 35€/person, and include breakfast. You can reserve yours by emailing

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